Highlands, Lowlands, Speyside, Campbeltown, the Isle of Islay. If those regions mean more to you than just bagpipes and haggis, then get yourself down to The 371 Bar.

With 110 single-malt Scotch whiskies to choose from, and more coming, The 371 undoubtedly has the largest selection of Scotch in Hanoi.

 

Hailing from the UK and formerly working in construction, the owner of 371 Bar Lee Kirby moved to Hanoi after a stint travelling in the region two-and-a-half years ago.

 

“I met my girlfriend-to-be on the flight over here from Guangzhou,” says Lee. “That’s how the bar got its name, from the name of the flight, CZ371.”

 

Lee has since poured himself into creating a laid-back and welcoming environment in his bar.

 

“When you walk through the door, I’m here greeting you,” he says. “I want everyone to feel at home when they come in here.”

 

It’s in the Details

 

The bar has an inviting pull to it. The space is fairly small, and while the first floor does have a couple of tables, most of the seating is up at the bar, giving the impression that this is a place you come for conversation.

 

On the second floor are more tables and a sofa, as well as more privacy, more suited to a business meeting or a date.

 

No expense has been spared on candles, which have been placed on every available surface, complementing the dim lighting.

 

The place is also spotless. They say you can judge a place by its bathroom, and Lee’s has Roy Lichtenstein pop art adorning the walls, possibly making it the trendiest bathroom in the capital.

 

Lee’s admiration for whisky is evident in the way he talks to his customers. Ask a question about a bottle and he’ll fill you in about the taste, and background of it. If you show enough interest, then out comes a map of Scotland, filled with the location of every major distillery, and accompanying information about the signature flavours of each area.

 

Through this passion and knowledge, you’ll narrow your way down to the right bottle for you. Whether you’re a novice or a seasoned expert, a second judgement can never hurt.

 

“I’ve got the biggest selection of single malt scotch in Hanoi, and I’ve got the record for tallest bartender,” says Lee.

 

“I don’t mind if you come in here and just drink beer all night, lots of my customers do,” says Lee. “But if you want to try something different, it’s there.”

 

A Scotsman and a Cuban

 

Of course it wouldn’t be a whisky bar if there wasn’t a big box of cigars to choose from as well. Ranging from VND130,000 to VND950,000, all cigars are Cuban, and none of them are filled with explosives.

 

Single malts start at VND140,000 per glass, and climb as a high as VND18 million for a bottle. With 110 bottles including household names like Macallan, Dalmore, Glenlivet and more, high-end labels include the likes of Macallan rare cask, Balvenie 30-year, and Glenmorangie 25-year.

 

For those not interested in sampling Scotland’s finest, a glass of Jameson’s is VND70,000, while Truc Bach and Saigon beer are VND50,000 and VND40,000 respectively.

 

A bottle of wine costs between VND600,000 and VND800,000, while a glass of house is VND150,000. If you’re feeling bubbly then a bottle of prosecco is VND695,000.

 

You don’t have to be a whisky enthusiast to sit in a nice bar, and The 371 welcomes everyone through the door with open arms.

 

The 371 Bar is located at 42B, Bat Dan, Hoan Kiem, Hanoi.


 

PHOTOS BY MARCUS LACEY

 

Billy Gray

Billy arrived in Hanoi in November 2015 with the intention of staying for just six months. He didn’t expect that flights to leave would be so expensive, so decided instead to stay and write for the Word.

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